Venues of the 1956 Winter Olympics

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For the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, a total of eight sports venues were used. All of the venues used were new or rebuilt. To make use of television coverage for the first time in the Winter Olympics, the cross-country skiing stadium was constructed to allow the best coverage. Five of the venues used for these games would appear in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only twenty-five years later.

Venues[edit]

Venue Sports Capacity Ref.
Apollonio Stadium Ice hockey 2,000 [1]
Pista Olimpica di Bob - Eugenio Monti Bobsleigh 4,650 [2]
La pista di Misurina Speed skating 8,550 [3]
Stadio Olimpico Del Ghiaccio Figure skating, Ice hockey (final) 12,042 [4]
Lo Stadio della neve Nordic combined, Cross-country skiing 9,650 [5]
Mount Faloria Alpine skiing (men's giant slalom) 7,920 (men) [6]
Mount Tofana Alpine skiing (men's downhill), (men's slalom) 12,080 (men's slalom) [6]
Trampolino Olimpico Italia Ski jumping, Nordic combined (ski jumping) 46,152 [7]

Before the Olympics[edit]

Cortina has been a tourist resort since the mid-1800s and quickly became internationally known due to frequent visits by European nobility.[8] Following World War I, Cortina emerged as a sports venue. The first World Championship hosted was the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1927.[9] The city would host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships five years later.[10]

Bobsleigh was first introduced in Cortina in 1905 though the first track 1,200 m (3,900 ft) long would not be completed until eighteen years later.[2] It made its international debut in 1928 during the International University Winter Games (now part of the Winter Universiade).[2] The track would be rebuilt in 1936 to meet the standards of other tracks in St. Moritz, Switzerland and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.[2] It hosted it first Bobsleigh World Championships (FIBT) in 1937 in the two-man event.[11] The track was renovated again in 1948 after World War II where all of the turns were rebuilt and the track was lengthened to 1,700 m (5,600 ft) long and 16 turns.[2] World Championships between 1937 and the 1956 Games took place in 1939 (four-man), 1950, and 1954.[11] Cortina was awarded the 1944 Winter Olympics in 1939, but had to withdraw from hosting the games due to World War II.[12]

During the Olympics[edit]

Lo Stadio della neve (English: The Snow Stadium) was one of the first venues constructed to meet the needs of television station RAI, Italy's national broadcaster.[5] The Stadium was constructed in an oblong 250 by 44 m (820 by 144 ft) area in an east-west direction with the Grand Stands facing south.[5]

Prior to the construction of La pista di Misurna (English: Misurna skating oval), the International Skating Union (ISU) had expressed concern over the upkeep, but after a test event the year before the 1956 Games, changed their minds.[3] A sports official for the ISU later stated that the track was easier to maintain than that of Davos, Switzerland even though the track was made of natural ice.[3]

After the Olympics[edit]

When Squaw Valley, California in the United States did not construct a bobsleigh track for the 1960 Winter Olympics, the track served as host for the bobsleigh World Championships in 1960.[11] The death of West German bobsledder Toni Pensperger at the FIBT World Championships 1966 during the four-man event would force the track to improve its safety standards.[11] Another Bobsleigh World Championships would not take place until 1981.[11] During the 1981 championships, an American bobsledder named James Morgan was killed during the four-man event.[13] After Morgan's death and a death of a stuntman during the filming of the James Bond 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, the track length was reduced to 1,350 m (4,430 ft) and 13 curves.[14] The track would host the Bobsleigh World Championships twice more in 1989 and 1999.[11] Following the death of Cortina native Eugenio Monti in December 2003, the track was renamed in Monti's honor.[15] In June 2007, the track was selected to host the 2011 world championships. The track withdrew their hosting of the 2011 championships in February 2009 due to issues with the city of Cortina over the track itself.[16]

The ski jump was used as a World Cup venue six times between 1979 and 1985.[17] Its last World Cup competition in 1985 was won by Norway's Roger Ruud.[18] The last known competition of any kind at the jump took place in 1990.[19]

Stadio Olympica is open to the general public and also serves as home to SG Cortina's ice hockey team.[20][21]

Cortina was first used as an alpine skiing World Cup event in 1981. It was an annual stop for women's alpine skiing from the 1992-3 to the 2008-9 seasons.[22]

Besides the bobsleigh track in For Your Eyes Only, other venues that appear in the movie are the ski jump, Tofane, Apollonino Stadium, and Stadio Olympica.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). p. 133. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  2. ^ a b c d e The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. pp. 175-9, 191. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  3. ^ a b c The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. pp. 180-88, 191. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  4. ^ The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. pp. 124-32, 191. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  5. ^ a b c The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. pp. 155-63, 191. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  6. ^ a b The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. pp. 165-79, 191. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  7. ^ The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. pp. 137-55, 191. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  8. ^ Cortina History Accessed 1 December 2013
  9. ^ FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Cortina d'Ampezzo 2-5 February 1927 results. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  10. ^ FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Cortina d'Ampezzo 1 February 1932. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  11. ^ a b c d e f FIBT.com Men's World Championships and Olympic Games: 1924-2007 results. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  12. ^ The Official Report of the Organising Committee of the VIIth Winter Olympic Games 1956 at Cortina. (1956) CONI. p. 80. Accessed 24 October 2010. (English) & (Italian)
  13. ^ Sports-reference.com profile of James Morgan. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  14. ^ FIBT track profile of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  15. ^ Bob Club Cortina official website. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  16. ^ Königssee to Host 2011 FIBT World Championship at the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (28 February 2009 accessed 24 October 2010.)
  17. ^ FIS Ski jumping World Cup information on Cortina d'Ampezzo. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  18. ^ FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Cortina d'Ampezzo men's individual normal hill results. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  19. ^ Skisprungschanzen profile of the Cortina ski jump. Accessed 24 October 2010. (German)
  20. ^ Dolomiti.org profile of the ice stadium. Accessed 24 October 2010. (Italian)
  21. ^ S.G. Cortina official website. Accessed 24 October 2010. (Italian)
  22. ^ FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup history of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Accessed 24 October 2010.
  23. ^ Movie-locations.com profile of For Your Eyes Only. 23 March 2009 article accessed 24 October 2010.